The City State Uruk : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

The City State Uruk : The Epic Of Gilgamesh Essay

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The city-state Uruk is one of the backgrounds of The Epic of Gilgamesh. Uruk was established at the southern Mesopotamia by around 3200 B.C. (“Uruk: The First City”). Unfortunately, there are no certain records about a king Gilgamesh. Whether Gilgamesh was a real man in history or not, he had been told as the king of Uruk and described as the legendary king in Sumerian mythology. His father was Lagalband who was a king of Uruk, and his mother was Ninsus who was the wise cow goddess. In an era of the city-state Uruk, huge wall surrounded the Uruk probably because of the order of the King Gilgamesh. Thus, historians assume that if Gilgamesh was a real person and the king of Uruk and he would live around 2700 B.C. As Greeks and Romans did, Sumerians built the relationships with gods in each city-state as well, such as ranking the order of gods. For example, Anu who was the god of the sky and originally had been a god of the city-state Uruk was the greatest one among the others (“Gilgamesh”). According to these historical and cultural background of Sumerian, Gilgamesh had appeared in many epic or stories as a superhero. Then, how one can describe Gilgamesh is a hero in the story? What is the standard of being a hero?
C. G. Jung who was a Swiss psychologist suggested the concept of a journey of a hero for the first time. He wondered how religious life views the life as a spiritual journey and concluded that the main role of religion is giving the ritual means to believers so that they can follow and emulate a journey of a hero; such as the religious practice of Buddha and Jesus. Jung finally defined this “individuation.” Then the American mythographer Joseph Campbell popularized Jung’s concept in this book called The Hero with a Though...


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...sible. He accepted his mortal existences and learned that it is more important and valuable to focus on his given life and his life as a king who takes care of his city than keep seeking for immoral life.
Arrogant Gilgamesh who did everything only for himself explored the unknown place, was challenged and faced many difficulties and thresholds, such as a temptation, the death of his friend, the test that he must stay awake seven days to earn eternal life, and indecision. As a result, after his long adventure, he finally learned a lesson and had inner development. According to the journey of Gilgamesh, The Epic of Gilgamesh reveals how the ancient Sumerians thought about the life through the hero Gilgamesh, if he was a real person. Everlasting life is not important. The most important part that humans have to know is current life. Value the life that has given to one.

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